Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Product Review: Obia Curl Moisture Cream (The Braiding Files #1)

Price:  $18 for 8 oz

Ingredients:  Purified Water, Behentrimonium Methosulfate and Cetearyl Alcohol, Grapeseed Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Olive Oil, Argan oil, Gluconolactone and Sodium Benzoate, Burdock Root, Lavender Oil, Coconut Oil, Soybean Oil, Vitamin E, Aloe Vera Oil, Fragrance.

Promise:  From the website - This specially formulated leave-in conditioner is full of luxurious oils that will seal in moisture and condition your hair. The star ingredient is antioxidant rich Argan Oil that is known for providing intense moisture.  Plus it is packed with Grape seed Oil, Olive Oil, Burdock Root and Vitamin E that will strengthen, add shine, smooth and promote hair growth.  pH balanced Curl Moisture Cream seals in moisture and minimizes frizz by smoothing and closing the cuticle.

Scent: Not sure

Consistency:  Thin Cream

Results:   I’ve used an entire jar of this stuff and I was pretty consistent in the products that I paired this with, but I still got differing results.  For example, most of the time, I did not get any sheen from this product, and it left my hair looking dull.  However, a couple times, I did get sheen.  Also, most of the time, it left my hair very moisturized, but there were a few times that it made my hair hard.  I did notice that sometimes, when my hair got hard, it was because I tried to use this product as a moisturizer in between washes, so it was building up on my strands.  It is rich in some really great oils, but my hair cannot take a lot of oil, especially not coconut oil.  This is also the reason it took 8+ hours for this product to absorb into my hair.  For all these reasons, I can’t call this my holy grail of braiding/twisting creams.  I need a product that I can count on, and I would like a little more sheen in the process

Love it, Like it or Leave It:  Like It
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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Braiding Challenge

Hey, beautiful people!  With Michigan winter fully in gear, I put my wash n' go challenge on hold and put my hair into hiding, typically in braids.  I tried twists, and they just don't give my hair the same definition.  Also, I have to be careful because my is also fine, so it break easily with too much tension.

Right now, my regimen is to:
1.  Deep condition my hair overnight
2.  Shampoo as needed
3.  Detangle with rinse-out conditioner
4.  Add leave-in conditioner, light oil and styling cream
5.  Braid my hair

During the week, I typically keep my hair in two crown braids, with the last inch of hair at the nape of my neck cornrowed in a separate braid.  I intend to test out a number of the twist creams in my hair to determine which ones leave my hair with the most moisture, sheen and definition.

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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Favorites of 2015

Hey, beautiful people!  It's that time of year again for my favorites list.  I already did my favorite deep conditioners and wash n' go gels at the end of those challenges, but I'll re-post them again.  I'm listing my product categories in the order that I use them and in order of preference.  I am posting the regular prices for these products, but I typically buy my products on sale (20-40% off).

Deep Conditioners:

  1. Herbal Essence Long Term Relationship ($4 for 10 oz)
  2. Herbal Essence Totally Twisted ($4 for 10 oz)
  3. Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge ($4 for 13 oz)
Leave-in Conditioners / Daily Moisturizers:
  1. Silk Dreams Wheat Germ Butter Conditioner ($16 for 16 oz)
  2. Oyin Handmade Hair Dew ($23 for 16.9 oz)
  3. Koils by Nature Moisturizing Shealoe Leave-in Conditioner ($20 for 12 oz) 
  4. Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Smoothing Lotion (summer only) ($25 for 12 oz)
Oils/Daily Spritz Mix-ins:
  1. Now Foods Avocado Oil ($14 for 16 oz)
  2. Essential Depot Vegetable Glycerin (summer only) ($13 for 43 oz)
  3. Tropic Isle Living Jamaican Black Castor Oil ($7 for 4 oz)
  4. Now Foods Peppermint Essential Oil ($7 for 1 oz)
Wash n Go Stylers:
  1. Camille Rose Curl Maker ($22 for 12 oz)
  2. Uncle Funky’s Daughter Curly Magic ($25 for 18 oz)
  3. As I Am Curling Jelly ($22 for 16 oz)
Braid and Twist Creams:
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Friday, December 25, 2015

Product Review: Battle of the Silk Dreams Moisturizers

Hey, beautiful people!  One of my favorite deep conditioner product lines this year is Silk Dreams Hair Care, so I decided to try a couple of her moisturizers -- the Wheat Germ Butter Conditioner and the Mocha Silk Hair Milk.  While the Wheat Germ Butter is labeled a conditioner, her website said that it could also be used as a leave-in.  I tried both bottles until I used them both up, sometimes using just one, and sometimes putting one product on one side of my head and the other product on the other side.

Price:  The Wheat Germ Butter Conditioner wins.  It is 8 oz. for $10 or 16 oz. for $16.   The Mocha Silk Hair Milk is 8 oz. for $12.

Ingredients:  This one was a close call for me, so I’m calling it a tie.   Both have amazing ingredients, and both have a nice protein.

    • Wheat Germ Butter Conditioner - Water, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Wheat Germ Butter, Avocado Oil, Polyquaternium 7, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Panthenol, Germall Plus, Fragrance

    • Mocha Silk Hair Milk - Water, Coconut Milk, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Palm Kernel Oil, Cupuacu Butter, Cocoa Butter, Avocado Oil, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey, Quaternium-79 Hydrolyzed Silk Protein, Polyquaternium-7, Panthenol, Germall Plus, Fragrance

Scent:  The Mocha Silk wins for me because it has a light chocolate scent.  The Wheat Germ did not smell like much of anything to me.

Results:  The Wheat Germ Butter Conditioner wins for my hair, though they are both great.  They both kept my hair moisturized for days and they both have this nice consistency of a thick lotion, but the Wheat Germ Butter left my hair feeling a little bit softer.  However, I think the Capuacu Butter and the Cocoa Butter combined in the Mocha Silk Hair Milk were just too much.  I have to be careful with heavier butters on my hair.  Also, the Wheat Germ Butter left my hair feeling conditioned when I washed it out on wash day, probably because it is also designed to be a conditioner.

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Sunday, December 6, 2015

Wash n Go Recap 2015

Hey, beautiful people!  As you may remember, over the summer, I wanted to try out a a number of gels to determine the best wash n go combination for my hair.  I tried quite a few, and posted 10 results to my wash day series.  As much as I wanted to love Eco Styler because it is cheap, I couldn’t make it work because it was just too thick.  I learned that my hair loves runny gels that are snot like in consistency.  While I can do conditioner only or a cream-based styler for my wash n go, I don’t get the same hang time.  Here are the top 4 wash n go gels that worked best for me, based on the way my hair looked, price and on-the-ground availability:

  1. Uncle Funky’s Daughter Curly Magic
  2. Camille Rose Curl Maker
  3. As I Am Curling Jelly
  4. Kinky Curly Curling Custard

My results with Camille Rose and Uncle Funky's Daughter were very similar.  While I like Uncle Funky's Daughter a little more, Camille Rose is available on the ground.  Kinky Curly gave me good results, but it also left a very sticky residue.  I hated having wet hair on any part of my skin when I used Kinky Curly. 

Next summer, I think I am going to try a few more gels because the product junkie in me won’t let me be.  Next up on my list to try:

Which stylers do you use for your wash n go?

Note:  This post was edited on 12/20/2015 to add another gel that I want to try, and updated on 6/15/2017 to change the order of #1 and #2.  I noticed that the Uncle Funky's Daughter Curly Magic has a longer shelf life than the Camille Rose Curl Maker.  Over time, the Curl Maker becomes more sticky/tacky, and it is harder to rake through.  I do not have that problem with the Curly Magic.

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Low Maintenance vs. Protective Styling

Hey, beautiful people.  With winter fully here, I thought now is good time to talk about protective styling vs. low manipulation styling.  A style can be both protective and low manipulation, which is why the two terms are frequently confused, but they are not the same thing.

  • Low manipulation refers to styles that require minimum styling, and require little maintenance during the week.  Low maintenance styles tend to be "set it and forget it" styles.  This would include wash n gos, certain updos, and bunning.  Braid outs/twist outs are only low manipulation if you don't have to frequently re-braid/twist.

  • Protective styling refers to styles that hide your hair, particularly your ends, to protect it from the elements.  This would include updos, bunning, braids, twists.  It would also include wigs.

For some people, especially those with fine hair, like me, low manipulation styles may be better than protective styles because frequent manipulation of the hair can lead to breakage.  On the other hand, for some, protective styles are better because their ends are easily damaged.

Thus, far, I've found that my hair likes low manipulation styles.  However, in the winter time, it prefers styles that are both low manipulation and protective because my hair stays better moisturized that way.  I live in Michigan where the winters are very cold and dry.

As a word of caution, with both low manipulation and protective styles, you have to be careful about tangling.  If your hair is in a loose, low maintenance style, it may tangle.  For example, I typically get tangles with my wash n go if I am not careful in applying gel to the curlier sections.  Also, if my hair is left in a protective style for too long, like braids or twists, then it may tangle.  Obviously, with both types of styles, you have to continue to maintain moisture levels.

What types of styles does your hair prefer?
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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Camille Rose Black Friday Haul

As I mentioned in my Black Friday post, I’ve been thinking about transitioning to almost exclusively using one product line.  Since I like the gel and two of the twisting butters, Camille Rose was a strong contender, so I bought a nice chunk of products in a Black Friday haul directly from the Camille Rose site.  Below is what I bought.  With a coupon code, my total price was $106.50.
  •  Ajani Growth and Shine Balm ($12)
  • Caramel Cowash ($14)
  • Cocoa Nibs & Honey - Ultimate Growth Serum ($16)
  • Coconut Water "Style Setter" ($15)
  • Coconut Water Leave-In Treatment ($14)
  • Coconut Water Penetrating Hair Treatment ($20)
  • Nourishing Cream Cleanser ($11)
  • Nourishing Cream Hair Bath ($16)
  • Nourishing Cream Leave In ($13)
  • Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse ($11)

Aside from Camille Rose’s site, I also did an early Black Friday sale, and bought some products on super discount from Curlkit.  With a coupon code, my total price was $68.68:
  • Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter ($16.50)
  • Camille Rose Naturals Aloe Whipped Butter Gel ($15.50 x 2)
  • As I Am Curling Jelly Coil & Curl Definer ($12.50)
  • Eco Styler Pink Styling Gel Tube ($1.99)
  • Kinky Curly Curl Custard Gel ($17.99)
  • Oyin Handmade Hair Dew ($13.50)
  • Ori Essentials Moisturizing Leave-In Conditioner ($11.99)

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Saturday, November 28, 2015

The End of The Deep Conditioner Challenge (The Deep Conditioner Files)

Hey, beautiful people!  As you may remember from a post over a year and a half ago, I wanted to try out a ton of deep conditioners to find out which ones best worked for my hair.  Over that time, I tried a lot, and posted 16 reviews as part of my search.  I learned that my hair loves a moisturizing deep conditioner that also has a light protein.  This is probably because my hair is fine, which means it needs protein.  However, my hair is also low porosity, which means that it can't take a lot of protein.  I also prefer a little slip in case I want to detangle without a rinse out conditioner.  

Here are the top six conditioners that worked best for me, based on the way my hair felt and price:
I still plan to try a couple other deep conditioners because I'm a product junkie, but I think I'm pretty much set with these.  Next up on my list to try:
  • ORS Hair Mayo
  • Silk Dreams Destination Hydration
  • Silk Dreams Shea What Conditioner 
  • Silk Dreams Mocha Silk Infusion
  • Camille Rose Coconut Water Penetrating Hair Treatment 
  • Camille Rose Nourishing Cream Hair Bath
Which deep conditioners do you love?
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Friday, November 27, 2015

Product Review: Hydratherma Naturals Amino Plus Protein Deep Conditioning Treatment (The Deep Conditioner Files #16)

Price:  $19 for 8 oz.

Ingredients:   Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Dicetyldimonium Chloride, Stearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycerin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Panthenol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Spirulina Maxima Extract, Silk Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Phytonadione, Pyridoxine HCL, Biotin, Sodium PCA, Betaine, Sorbitol, Glycine, Alanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Arginine, Lysine, Glutamic Acid, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract, Panax Ginseng Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Fragrance, Methyl Gluceth-10, PEG-45M, Triethanolamine, Citric Acid, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone.

Promise:  From website “This deep protein conditioning treatment strengthens the hair and prevents breakage.  Does not make the hair feel hard like many other protein treatments.  With just one use, you will see and feel a difference.  This treatment contains an exceptional and unique complex of structurizing proteins, all of different molecular weights.  These proteins penetrate deep within the hair shaft producing benefits like no single protein can.  Enriched with 10 amino acids, vitamins and botanical extracts.  Strengthens each hair strand and protects the hair from harsh weather. Also provides sunscreen protection.  Your hair will look and feel terrific.  Superb for all hair types.  PH balanced.”

Scent: Fruity

Consistency:  Thin Lotion

Results:   I love this stuff!  I used it for over a month as both a deep conditioner overnight, and for deep conditioning over a few hours.  It has amazing slip, and allows me to detangle my hair with ease.  When I rinsed it out after an overnight deep condition or after leaving it in my hair for a few hours, it left me hair feels moisturized, yet strong.  In short it covered all the bases.  The only thing that would make me like it more is a cheaper price. 

Love it, Like it or Leave It:  Love It

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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Black Friday Gear Up

It's that time of year again when product junkies rejoice.  All year, I have been in product junkie rehab, so I have kept track of every product I used up, gave away and tossed. I used up:
  • 6 deep conditioners
  • 2 shampoos / cleansers
  • 7 rinse out conditioners
  • 9 leave-ins / moisturizers 
  • 3 gels
  • 5 other stylers
  • 1 oils (I run through oils slowly)

In looking at my current inventory of 48 products, sadly, I should have enough stuff to last me all next year, except leave-in/moisturizers, shampoo and possibly rinse out conditioner.  I don't buy shampoo or rinse conditioner during Black Friday anyway, and I might be able to use some of my other products as leave-in/moisturizers. Thus, I'm going to try my best to resist Black Friday product shopping this year. If I buy anything, it will be from one of three product lines (Silk Dreams, Camille Rose or Uncle Funky's Daughter). I am again attempting to limit the number of lines I use, so I may buy a few products to fill gaps in these lines.

Have no fear, if I don't buy anything for Black Friday, I'll reevaluate my stash in May for the Mother's Day / Memorial Day sales.
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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Product Review: Curl Junkie Hibiscus & Banana Deep Fix Moisturizing Conditioner (The Deep Conditioner Files #15)

Price:  $20 for 8 oz.

Ingredients:   Distilled Water infused with Hibiscus Petals, Aloe VeraLeaf Juice, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Honey, Shea Butter Fruit, Panthenol, Banana Fruit Extract, Hydrolyzed Oat Flour, Plantain Leaf Extract, Olive Oil, Astrocaryum Murumuru Butter, Sunflower Seed Oil, Avocado Oil, Macadamia Nut Seed Oil, CupuaƧu Seed Butter, Orange Peel Wax, PEG -7 Olivate, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Vegetable Glycerin, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Tetrasodium EDTA , Fragrance, Benzyl Benzoate

Promise:  From website “There is a reason this is our #1 best seller! Revitalize your hair with the moisturizing and hydrating properties of the anti-oxidant rich Hibiscus flower and Brazilian Cupuacu and Murumuru butters.  This conditioner can be used daily, weekly, as an instant hydrating conditioner, deep conditioner, or as a leave-in. It provides penetrating moisture to all hair types without being too heavy.  This honey rich conditioner, detangles the hair and helps hair ‘clump’ together to form better curls.  97% natural/naturally derived ingredients.”

Scent: Strongly like bananas

Consistency:  Very thick

Results:   This was a favorite when I was a newly natural and my hair was shorter.  It leaves my hair moisturized, soft and strong.  Unfortunately, now that my hair is longer (bra-strap length stretched) and thicker, it takes too much of this product to cover my head.  I used up half a jar in one application.  That is $10 per use, which is too much for me.  If I find this one super sale, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy it because the ingredients are good and it does great things for my hair, but I can’t make it a staple.

Love it, Like it or Leave It:  Like It

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Wash Day 09-27-2015 - Camille Rose Curl Maker Wash N Go

Hey, beautiful people!  Today I decided to try a new gel for my wash n go.

First,  I did a deep condition overnight with Hydratherma Naturals Amino Plus Protein Deep Conditioner.  This was my first time trying out this deep conditioner. I like it.  It clearly gave my hair a protein boost, but it was mild enough that I could still use it overnight. As a random bonus, the smell reminds me of juicy fruit.

This morning, I washed my hair with Aubrey Organics White Camellia Shampoo. Then, I used Aussie Smooth to detangle and put moisture back in my hair.

To style, I applied product to 8 sections using a rake through method.  On each section, I used Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Smoothing Lotion, followed by Curl Junkie Coffee-Coco Curl Cream, followed by my oil mix, followed by Camille Rose Curl Maker gel. I applied the gel very liberally.  This gel reminds me of Uncle Funky's Daughter Curly Magic by ALOT.  It rakes through the same. It curls my hair the same, and it dries the same.  My hair is soft, yet my curls are still defined.  This is a win!

After my hair was about 80% dry (it's still damp), I trimmed a few stands that hung lower in the front than the rest of my hair. It made a stark difference. I really need to go see a professional to get a shape-up.

Total styling time - 1 hour
Total drying time - over 12 hours

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Wash Day 09-12-2015 - DevaCurl: The Final Trial

Hey, beautiful people!  I realized that I did not post the summary of my last wash day.  First, I did a deep condition overnight with Aubrey Organics Island Replenishing Conditioner.  Then, I decided to get one last use out of my DevaCurl products.

I washed my hair with the DevaCurl No Poo.  Then I finished detangling my hair with the One Condition. As before, I really like these products.  I don't see myself re-purchasing these, unless they are on super sale or in a pinch because they are expensive and the smell is a turnoff for me.  However, they work very well on my hair, so I can't completely discount them.

Finally, to give my hair a rest, I decided to braid it up.  I put my hair in about 14 braids using DevaCurl Styling Cream, Curl Junkie Coffee-Coco Curl Cream and my oil mix.  I left the braids in for about a week before I took them out.  My braid out was so soft and defined.  It also had a nice sheen.

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Sunday, September 6, 2015

Wash Day 09-04-2015 (DevaCurl Take 2)

Hey, beautiful people!  I decided to give DevaCurl another try this weekend because I really liked the NoPoo and One Condition, and I suspected that I could like the Styling Cream as well.

First, I did a deep condition overnight with Aubrey Organics Island Replenishing Conditioner.  I previously did a review of this product.  This is still one of my favorites, even though they have changed the formula somewhat.  I ran out of the old formula while I was applying it, so I finished my hair off with the new formula.  So far, so good.  My hair felt soft, supple and strong when I rinsed out the conditioner the next morning.

Next, I washed my hair with the DevaCurl No Poo.  Just like before, this felt wonderful on my hair and I was even able to detangle with it, though the scent gets to me.  As I may have mentioned before, I am sensitive to strong scents.

Then I finished detangling my hair with the One Condition.  This is also great.  It left my hair soft, and made it easy to detangle.  The scent on this is also a little easier to handle than the No Poo.

Finally, I did a wash n go with the DevaCurl Styling Cream, my oil mix and my tried-and-true Uncle Funky's Daughter Curly Magic.  My wash n go had great curl definition!  It was also soft, and the shrinkage was not as severe, though there was significant shrinkage.   This product would be great for people who love big wash n gos. My only complaint, if I can call it one, is that my hair still was not dry after 12 hours.

Based on this wash day, I learned two things:  (1) the DevaCurl gel is probably what caused the flakes in my hair last week; and (2) a little bit of the styling cream goes a long way.  I don't have to use as much styling cream as I do with leave-ins.  In fact, in the one quadrant of my hair where I went overboard with the styling cream, it flaked.  This was the only area that flaked.

Total styling time:  20 minutes
Total drying time:  over 12 hours

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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Wash Day 08-29-2015 (Deva Curl)

Hey beautiful people!  This week, I finally used up the DevaCurl Must-Have Curl Kit, which I won as a prize from a contest (yay for free stuff).

I did a deep condition overnight with Curl Junkie Hibiscus Banana Deep Fix Conditioner.  I like this conditioner, but it isn't cost effective for me anymore.  With my current hair length and thick density, I used half a jar in one wash.  That is $10 per wash.

In the morning, I started off with the DevaCurl No Poo.  This has great slip, and my hair felt clean.  The only thing I did not like is the smell.  It is strong perfume like.  Next, I used the One Condition.  This also had great slip, and the smell reminded me of a baby.  I just didn't understand why the bottle was so small.  It's conditioner.

For styling, I used the Deva Styling Cream and the Deva Ultra Defining Gel on my right side.  For some reason the styling cream I received has a tiny pump spout, instead of the normal pump.  I had to push the pump about 12 times just to get enough to cover a small area of my hair.  When I spread it on my hair, it felt a little like water, so I knew it wasn't going to do much for me.  For my left side, I didn't want to risk tangles, so I used a heavier leave-in conditioner under the Ultra Defining Gel -- Curl Junkie's Coffee-Coco Curl Cream.

After 12 hours, my hair is about 90% dry on the right side and 70% dry on the left.  I'm actually a little surprised.  The DevaCurl styling cream left my hair softer than I thought, but there is not much definition.  My hair dried shrunken and frizzy.  I am also getting white flakes on my clothes now that it has dried.

Total styling time:  ~30 minutes

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Battle of the Edge Controls

Hey, beautiful people!  Typically, I wear my hair in a wash n go on the weekend, and a bun during the week.  I have to get my toddler out the door on weekday mornings, so it is best for me to avoid having to think about my hair and my bun will typically last all week.  While I am usually ok with a little frizz around the edges, when I have a more formal event to go to, I prefer a sleeker look, so I decided to try some edge controls.  I tried ten products, some of which are marketed as edge controls, and some that are not.  Here they are ranked from most favorite to least liked:
  1. Pink Eco Styler Gel ($6 / 32 oz)- This is not marketed as an edge control, but it had the most long-lasting hold by far, and it it the cheapest.  I just have to use ALOT.  Also, I have to tie down my edges after I apply it, to let it dry.  Because it takes my hair awhile to dry, even if I apply the gel on dry hair, the results are not instantaneous.

  2. Cream of Nature Perfect Edges ($4.50 / 2.25) - This is my favorite "edge control".  It gave me both high shine and hold.  It also spreads easily, and it actually smells a little like argan oil.  It just didn't give me all day hold. As the day went on, my edges started to puff up.  For people avoiding parabens, do not purchase this one. It has 2 - methylparaben and ethylparaben. 

  3. Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Edge Control Smoother ($8 / 2 oz) - This is my second favorite "edge control" product.  It performed very similar to the Cream of Nature, including the fact that it also gave me great shine.  It also smells deliciously like vanilla. However, like the Cream of Nature, it also didn't give me long lasting hold. Unlike Cream of Nature, it does not have any parabens. I really like the ingredients in this product.

  4. Oyin Burnt Sugar Pomade ($14 / 4 oz) - I use this as a second day product after using gel on the first day.  I typical spritz my hair with a little water, then smooth on the pomade and tie down my hair with a scarf. After about 30 minutes, my hair usually good to go with a nice sheen and it is soft.  Do not expect this to last longer than a couple hours though.  The pomade has amazing ingredients.  I prefer the Burnt Sugar Pomade to the Sugar Berries Pomade based on smell alone. They perform and cost the same. The Burnt Sugar smells like cookies.  The sugar berries smells like plants to me.  This is on the higher side of price per ounce, but a little goes  along way.  I've had the same jar for at least a year.

  5. Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore ($10 / 4 oz) - While the jar says that it smooths, this is more of a treatment, than an edge control.  The protein seems to strengthen my edges, and this product keeps my hair soft with a nice sheen.  When I'm stressed, my temples thin, so this is a keeper, just not as an edge control.  The only thing I don't like about this is that it seems to leave some residue on my hair after a few days of use.

  6. Gorilla Snot Gel (Punk) ($6.59 / 11.9 oz) - Someone suggested this gel because it is kind of like glue.  It did work on my edges to a certain extent, but it worked pretty much like Eco Styler Gel and it didn't last as long, even though I put a ton on. 

  7. Curls Control Paste ($8 / 4 oz) - I was actually surprised that this did not work for me. It was my favorite product while I was transitioning because it smoothed my edges.  However, when I tried it as part of this experiment, while it smoothed my edges, the smooth edges did not last long.  It also left a white residue.  I tried it on both "dirty" hair and freshly washed hair.  It gave me the same white residue each time.

  8. ORS Olive Oil Edge Control ($5 / 2.25 oz) - This simply did not spread easily on my hair, so it was not effective.

  9. Smooth 'N Shine Edge Smoothing Pomade ($2.59 / 2 oz) - This performs similarly to the ORS Edge Control. 

  10. Got2B Glued Spiking Glue ($6.50 / 6 oz) - I only tried this because someone suggested it.  It did not give me hold, but it did leave a sticky film on my hair.  No bueno.
All in all, this experiment reinforced for me that I don't need an edge control every day.  On the days that the edge control wore out before my day ended (90% of the time), I survived.  For the days that I really need edge control, I'll just use my pink Eco Styler.  On the other days, I'll use the Oyin pomade, and I'll use the Shea Moisture as a treatment for my edges when they seem like they need a little extra care.
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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Wash Day 08-03-2015 (Gorilla Snot Gel)

Hey, beautiful people!  I'm posting from sunny, hot Florida today.  I went swimming early this morning with my sister; so, of course, I had to wash my hair.  Mental note to self, if I pack a swimming suit, I need to pack my Aubrey Organics Swimmer’s Shampoo.  Because I did not, I had to use hotel shampoo and conditioner. Bad idea. The shampoo dried my hair out something fierce. Then, the conditioner laughed at my hair when I tried to use it to replenish moisture and detangle. Thankfully, I at least had the good sense to bring my Oyin hair dew. I used up every last drop of what I brought. Then, on top of it, I used the Gorilla Snot Gel punk (maximum strength). 
I saw the gel in the grocery store while picking up things for one of my grandmothers, and I grabbed it because I heard good things.  It went on easy, but I cant really call it slippery.  It feels like glue going on, but it did a good job with my curls.  They are popping similar to Uncle Funky's Daughter Curly Magic or Kinky Curly Curling Custard.  Aside from the glue feeling, I don't like how hard my hair feels.  We will see how second day hair feels.

Total styling time ~45 minutes.  My hair also dried in about 4 hours, which NEVER happens, but I think I can thank the Orlando heat for that.

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Wash Day 07-23-2015 (Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge)

Hey, beautiful people! As much as I love my Herbal Essence Long Term Relationship and Totally Twisted conditioners, I have been testing out some other alternatives so that I have back ups. This is particularly important for when I travel.  Anyone who has traveled with me knows I hate to check a bag. Thus, if I know I am going to need to wash my hair, I typically just bring my styler and I buy conditioner when I land at my destination. Any drugstore will carry cheap conditioners, but they always have my favorite Herbal Essence. I would like to have a favorite cheap conditioner in every popular line. 

Today, I finally found my favorite in the Garnier Fructis line - Hydra Recharge.  It smells good and it has AMAZING slip for detangling, plus it left my hair feeling soft.  After I co-washed with it, I used my Koils by Nature leave-in. I'm not sure how many uses I've gotten out of this, but it is the bottle that keeps on giving. Next, I put my hair in a bun with a little oil and pink eco styler gel.
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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Wash Day 07-18-2015 (Kinky Curly vs Uncle Funky's Daughter)

Hey, beautiful people.  Today was a little bit longer of a wash day because I needed to detangle.  I didn't get a chance to put deep conditioner in my hair before I fell asleep (long week), and I didn't have time during my wash day, so there was no deep conditioner this week.

I used Aubrey Organics White Camellia Shampoo to cleanse.  I still like this shampoo, but not as much as the Uncle Funky's Daughter one. With Aubrey, I can't use to much or it leaves my hair feeling a little too clean, if that makes sense.

Because I was traveling last week, my hair didn't get the detangling it needed, so I spent extra time detangling with Herbal Essence Long Term Relationship.  Then I used Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Smoothing Lotion as my leave-in, followed by my oil mix.

After my last gel experiment, I wanted to try out two of my favorites.  I used Kinky Curly gel on the right, and Uncle Funky's Daughter on the left.  They performed the same wet and dry, and they have the same ingredients based on the back of the bottle.

I noticed that my hair dried shorter and frizzier than last time, and I think it was the oil.  Next time, I'll try one of these gels on my wash n go without the oil.

Total wash to style time - 50 minutes

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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Wash Day 07-11-2015: Kinky Curly and As I Am

Hey, beautiful people. For my wash day today, I did a deep condition overnight with Curl Junkie Deep Fix. I have liked this deep conditioner since right after my big chop. However, now I have more hair. I used up half a jar in one sitting.

Next, I co-washed and detangled with Herbal Essence Long Term Relationship, and used Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Smoothing Lotion as my leave-in.  Finally, I did a wash n go experiment. On one side, I used As I Am Curling Jelly. On the other side, I used Kinky Curly Curling Custard. The Kinky Curly was easier to apply, and kept my hair more elongated. The As  I Am side was noticeably shorter while wet and when it dried. Also, the As I Am side dried a little crazy and misshapen, so I had to pull on it to stretch it into shape. 

Total styling time was about 30 minutes.

Edited to Add:  I didn't have great second day with either product, but the Kinky Curky was a little better. Both sides frizzed out, but the Kinky Curky side kept at least some definition.  The Kinky Curly side also left my hands sticky when I rewet it.  I also don't like as much volume in my second day hair, and I got a ton.  My hair looked more like a ball.  Uncle Funkys Daughter may still be my favorite gel for wash n go.
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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Wash Day 07-07-2015: The Traveling Bun

Hey, beautiful people! I haven't posted a wash day in bit, but my wash days have been very straightforward lately.  I just do a quick wash with Uncle Funky's Daughter shampoo (which I love), detangle with Herbal Essence Long Term Relationship, put in leave-in and gel, and bun.  It takes 20-30 minutes.  Sometimes, I skip the shampoo step.

This morning, I was still on vacation because I went to the Essence Fest, and I packed travel sizes of some new things to try.  First, I co-washed with Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Conditioner.  I was not a fan.  It was not creamy enough, and it felt like it made my hair hard.  Next, I used Oyin Hair Dew and Tresseme gel to bun.  I was not a fan of the gel.  It reminded me of a slightly more liquid version of Eco Styler, but it had no hold.  Plus, even more than Eco Styler, the gel kept my hair sopping wet, even after I used a regular towel to soak up some of the water, and I had to go through airport security with water periodically coming down my face and neck.  Not wonderful...

What brand do you travel with?

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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Wash Day 06-13-2015 - Crown Twist

Hey, beautiful people!  This weekend, I didn't do a deep condition overnight because I fell asleep before I put the conditioner in my hair.  Then, when I woke up in the morning, I didn't have time to do a deep condition because we had a long day ahead.  Thus, I just did a quick co-wash with Herbal Essence Long Term Relationship.  Then, when I got out the shower, I wasn't in the mood for a wash and go, so I got creative.  I divided my hair into four ponytails, twisted each ponytail into two twists, and wrapped the twists around my head (using bobby pins) to make a crown.  For my twists, I used the Jane Carter Curl Defining Cream and Hairveda Red Tea Hair Ends Serum.

Total wash to style time: ~50 minutes.

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Saturday, June 6, 2015

Wash Day 06-06-2015 (Koils By Nature & Uncle Funky's Daughter Wash N Go)

Hey, beautiful people!  For this wash day, I did a couple experiments.  The first was unintentional.  As usual, I did an overnight deep conditioner first.  I had just enough Hairveda Acai Phyto Berry Conditioner in the bottle for one side of my hair.  I wasn't ready to open up another bottle; so, on the other side of my hair, I used another favorite light protein deep conditioner - Aubrey Organics Island Naturals Replenishing Conditioner.  These are both awesome conditioners for my hair.  The Hairveda was easier to apply because it glides better on my strands.  However, the Aubrey Organics left my hair softer when I washed the conditioners out of my hair the next day.

Next, after I rinsed out the conditioners, I went straight into styling.  After my successful wash n go last week, I wanted to see if I could duplicate the results with another favorite leave-in conditioner -- Koils by Nature Leave-In.  After applying the leave-in, I applied my oil mix and applied Uncle Funky's Daughter Curly Magic for my wash n go.  So far, so good.  My hair seems a little bit shinier and it dried a little faster; but, other than that, it looks pretty much the same.  It did flake a little, but it was barely noticeable. 

Wash and style time - 35 minutes, including periodic pauses to entertain the baby, who was watching me apply products

Dry time - ~6 hours for the front, and the back is still damp.

The top is a picture of wet hair, and the bottom is dry
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Power Product Review: Koils By Nature (& The Deep Conditioner Files #14)

Hey, beautiful people!  As I mentioned last year, I purchased a single Curl Collection box when they featured Koils by Nature.  As part of the box, I received the Ultra Moisturizing CocoAloe Deep Conditioner, the Moisturizing Shealoe Leave-in Conditioner, the Peppermint Herbal Soothing Curl Defining Gel, and the Marvelous Mango Hair & Body Butter.

Ultra Moisturizing CocoAloe Deep Conditioner with Argan Oil ($18 for 12 oz) - I love this product!  This and the leave-in are my two favorite products out of the box.  It is a lotion consistency (not overly thick).  It goes on smooth, has a lot of slip for detangling.  It actually makes a great pre-poo.  I was able to use this to detangle my dry hair without any water.  It also revived my hair within a couple weeks, after I had been neglecting it a little.

Moisturizing Shealoe Leave-in Conditioner with Argan Oil ($20 for 12 oz) – I love this product.  It has a creamy consistency, which seems to be best for leave-in conditioners for my hair.  It goes on smoothly, has a lot of slip and is moisturizing.  I’m not sure why, but it smells a little like citrus fruit.  It is a very light scent.  I would definitely re-buy this.

Peppermint Herbal Soothing Curl Defining Gel ($14 for 8 oz) – This was my least favorite product in the box.  I tried it on a wash n go.  I also tried it on a bun.  It smooths on easily, and has a lot of slip (probably because of the marshmallow root and slippery elm), but it has little to no hold and it flaked a little on my wash n go.  My wash n go also shrunk A LOT and frizzed.  My favorite part of this gel was the peppermint.  It smells strongly of peppermint, and leaves a cooling tingle on my scalp, so I know the peppermint is not just fragrance.  Because I couldn’t find a way to use this that worked for me, it is a “leave it”.

Marvelous Mango Hair & Body Butter ($25 for 4 oz) – I took one look at the butter, and knew that I could not use it on my hair.  However, I love it for my hands and elbows.  It is kind of creamy and melts easily, leaving my hands baby soft.  I keep it in the diaper bag, and use it whenever my hands get dry.  In complete disclosure, I also used it on the baby’s legs once when I noticed they were a little dry at the pediatrician’s office.  Do not buy this if you do not like the smell of mango, however, because it does have a strong mango scent.  This would be a “love it”, but my hubby thinks the mango smell is too strong and it is expensive.  Thus, this is a “like it”.

Ultra Moisturizing CocoAloe Deep Conditioner with Argan Oil (pH 4.5-5.0) – Distilled Water, Aloe Leaf Juice, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Coconut Oil, Aloe Butter, Argan Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Organic Olive Oil, Mango Alphonso Powder Fruit Extract, Hydrolyzed Oat Protein, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Potassium Sorbate , Willow Bark Extract, Vitamin E, Pro-Vitamin B5, Fragrance, Citric Acid.

Moisturizing Shealoe Leave-in Conditioner with Argan Oil (pH 4.5-5.0) – Distilled Water infused with Organic Calendula Flower Whole, Burdock Root, Organic Horsetail Shaved Grass, & Organic Nettle Leaf; Aloe Leaf Juice; Cetyl Alcohol; Behentrimonium Methosulfate; Organic Marshmallow Root Powder; Organic Burdock Root Powder; Organic Calendula Flower Powder; Organic Slippery Elm Bark Powder; Chamomile Flower Powder; Shea oil; Rice Bran Oil; Organic Olive Oil; Macadamia Nut Oil; Tropic Isle Living Jamaican Black Castor Seed Oil; Argan Oil; Aloe Butter; Grape Seed Oil; Mango Alphonso Powder Fruit Extract; Kosher Vegetable Glycerin; Potassium Sorbate; Willow Bark Extract; Vitamin E; Pro-Vitamin B5; Essential Oil & Fragrance; Citric Acid.

Peppermint Herbal Soothing Curl Defining Gel – Distilled Water infused with Organic Calendula Flower Whole, Organic Burdock Root, Organic Horsetail Shaved Grass, & Organic Nettle Leaf; Aloe Leaf Juice; Carbomer; Organic Marshmallow Root Powder; Organic Slippery Elm Bark Powder; Chamomile Flower Powder; Shea Oil; Organic Olive Oil; Macadamia Nut Oil; Jamaican Black Castor Seed Oil; Grape Seed Oil; Mangifera Indica; Potassium Sorbate; Willow Bark Extract; Peppermint Essential Oils, Citric Acid.

Marvelous Mango Hair & Body Butter –Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Kokum Butter, Mango Seed Butter, Avocado Butter, Aloe Butter, Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Organic Olive Oil, Jamaican Black Castor Seed Oil, Illipe Butter, Vitamin E, Pro-Vitamin B5, Organic essential oils & fragrance.
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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Wash Day 05-30-2015 (Curl Junkie & Uncle Funky's Daughter Wash N Go)

Hey, beautiful people!  Today, I was in the mood to use up some things and try out an oldie but goodie. 

First, I did an overnight deep condition last night with the Koils By Nature deep conditioner.  I am in love with this stuff, and it may end up on my staples list.

This morning, I washed my hair with the Uncle Funky's Daughter cleanser and detangled with Herbal Essence Long Term Relationship.  As my leave-in, I went back to an old favorite that I have been using since my BC - - Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Smoothing Lotion.  Then, I added my oil mix, and used Uncle Funky's Daughter Curly Magic for my wash n go.  Next, I tied a t-shirt around my hair for an hour to suck up some of the water.

It has been 8 hours, and my hair is completely dry in the front, and 90% dry in the back.  I am loving the way my hair looks, and it is surprisingly soft. This may be my favorite wash n go so far. 

Wash and style time - 1 hour, including a pause to change and diaper a baby

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